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BAD: Autobiography of James Carr unveiled

Three Rooms Press and Beyond Baroque will present the official L.A. launch of "BAD: The Autobiography of James Carr," Friday, April 1, at 8 p.m.

James Carr, Black Panther alumnus, celebrated in launch of memoir

LOS ANGELES (MNS) — Three Rooms Press and Beyond Baroque will present the official L.A. launch of BAD: The Autobiography of James Carr, Friday, April 1, at 8 p.m., at Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center in Santa Monica, 681 N. Venice Blvd., Venice, Calif.

BAD unveils the harrowing, brutal, and unapologetic 1972 autobiography by James Carr, a notorious African-American career criminal who went straight out of Compton to a reformatory after burning down his school at the age of 10.

A brutal indictment of the American penal system and a primer for the present-day seeds of institutionalized racism in this country, BAD goes where no other book has ever gone before and so did Carr. After years in and out of prison, Carr wound up bunking with Folsom Prison inmate George Jackson (Soledad Brother), who taught him to read and write, and inspired him to fight for a position of strength along the radical stream of the 1960s including years with the Black Panthers, Angela Davis, the BLA and more.

After release from prison, Carr married, had a daughter, and had just finished recording his memoir when he was murdered in front of his house in San Jose, Calif., shortly before the book release. In BAD, Carr notes, “I’ve been struggling all my life to get beyond the choice of living on my knees or dying on my feet. It’s time we lived on our feet.”

A book that strips the system bare, Carr’s memoir is revealing as a part of Black Panther history, and as a telling document in the ongoing battle for American prison reform.

The event will feature a reading from the book by Gea Carr (James’ daughter), along with additional readings and discussions of prison reform by Michael D McCarty (director of the Griot Workshop and prison activist and teacher), plus poetry by Jefferey Martin (As Sons Love Their Mothers), Matt Sedilla (two-time national slam poet, grand slam champion), Antonieta Villamil (Arcana de Los Dominios Imagintes), and Mark Lipman (The Dirt of Despair, A Stirring Underfoot). Three Rooms Press co-directors Peter Carlaftes and Kat Georges will also share excerpts from the book and discuss the project.

Beyond Baroque, Literary Arts Center is at 681 Venice Blvd., Venice, Calif. For additional information and reservations, call 310-822-3006, or email the bookstore at info@threeroomspress.com.

Compton Herald is a digital news publication providing clear, fair and current news, information and commentary about Compton, the Los Angeles metropolitan area, Los Angeles County, California, and the world.

  • Michael M April 16, 2016

    Carr boasted about his beating and raping of weak inmates. A real nice guy.

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